Construction work has started this week at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre Royal to replace the seating in the auditorium.
The Auditorium Development Programme is an ambitious capital works project that will provide more comfortable seating and improved views of the stage whilst maintaining the building's heritage and authenticity.
It is being carried out at a time when the Theatre is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions and has been made possible thanks to a generous £375,000 donation from the Hamish Ogston Foundation announced earlier this year.
Plenty of work has already taken place behind the scenes - including developing prototypes of the new seating - but now the Richmond-based buliding and construction firm Acomb Construction Ltd have begun the process of removing the old seating in readiness for the installation of the new benches and seats.
"It is incredibly exciting to see the transformation start to take place," said Clare Allen, Chief Executive of The Georgian Theatre Royal. "We have spent many months in the planning of the project - poring over every detail to make sure that we achieve the best possible solution - but now this is all becoming a reality and the progress is very visible.
"We have had one or two surprises already. When removing the benches in the centre boxes, we found some rolled up newspapers from 1961 that had been wedged into the void under the tiered floorboards. It's amzing what you find when you start peeling back the layers," she added.
Find out more about the Auditorium Development Programme.